Dr MacJohn Nwaobiala, Co-Chairman, National Child Rights Implementation Committee (NCRIC), on Wednesday in Abuja, urged stakeholders to respond to African Union (AU) draft report on the implementation of the rights of the Nigerian child.

Nwaobiala spoke at the validation meeting on AU Draft Report organised by the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development in collaboration with Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC) programme.

He said that answers to 41 questions raised by the committee would firm up Nigeria’s defence of the AU Report in Addis Ababa.

Nwaobiala, who expressed worry that some stakeholders were slow in responding to the questions, emphasised the need for Ministries, Departments and Agencies to take in depth study of the report and come up with concrete answers.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the report highlighted the measures Nigeria has put in place for the implementation of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.

According to Nwaobiala, Nigeria has submitted the first, second and third periodic report to the committee.

“And the committee has studied the report and raised about 41 questions.

“What we are doing today is to ensure that Nigeria appropriately responds to those questions with facts and figures, and to show what Nigeria has done in terms of implementation of the rights of the child.

“Now the committee will be meeting on March 19 and we must be at that meeting because they expect us to present our responses to the 41 questions.

“And what we want to ensure is that Nigeria’s response is factual; there are things that are verifiable and as the chairman I will not be part of attempts to cover up.

“We have to say things the way they are, if there are gaps or areas that Nigeria has not performed very well, we must say it.

“If there are areas we are doing well, we must highlight them, if there are areas we need assistance both from development partners, the United Nations and international agencies we will also highlight.

“But the most important thing is that we must look at the status of implementation, the rights that children enjoy in Nigeria and we say it the way it is,’’ Nwaobiala emphasised.

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